Shaken, not stirred. That’s should be the tag line for the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel because it opened with a bang on October 17, 1989, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Fortunately, the striking luxury hotel was so well built that there was no damage from the earthquake that rocked the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, the luxury high-rise building underwent a complete hotel renovation from the lobby to all 1,500 hotel rooms.
The hotel is centrally located between SoMa (South of Market) and Union Square. It’s also easily accessible from the Powell Street BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and within walking distance to the George Moscone Convention Center.
I bring visitors to The View Lounge for the city views, but the eco-friendly hotel rooms are impressive, as well.
TED Talks for Marriott Hotel guests
I was in San Francisco to hear TED Sr. Fellow Eric Barlow speak about today’s travel trends. In 2016 Marriott Hotels partnered with Ted to share ideas worth spreading. If you find yourself with a little extra time in your hotel room, enjoy a curated TED Talk on your flat screen TV. The idea behind these talks is to let your mind travel and be creative in your daily life.
With all the distractions we face in our daily lives, wouldn’t it be nice to have enough time in our day to clear our mind?
Hotel room renovation
What I noticed about my hospitality suite room on the 24th floor was the furniture near the windows to bring the outside in. I also liked the hardwood floors with area rugs in the room, as it gives it a cleaner look than with wall to wall carpet. As I landed in a suite, my room featured a living room with sofa, table and chairs, in addition to my desk.
There were plenty of windows – that actually opened – and lots of outlets, including plug-ins on the lamps (love that!) My suite included a king bed, 2 televisions, a mini fridge, wet bar and coffee maker, in addition to a safe. I liked the full length mirror attached to the sliding barn door, leading to the ample-sized bathroom. The walk-in shower included individual bath amenities and a hair dryer. If you forget your toothbrush, housekeeping is happy to oblige.
The hotel is composed of two towers with 12 different room categories from standard rooms to the Presidential Suite.
The View Lounge and dining choices
Head up to the 39th floor and enjoy the city by the bay with killer views from The View Lounge. Try the signature cocktails “Golden Gate Fields” or “Fab View Lous” with haku vodka, blood orange and egg whites. The cheese & charcuterie plate was tasty and good for two to share, but my husband loved the ahi tuna poke.
If you prefer picking up a quick bite and eating in your room, Mission Street Pantry, on the lobby floor, offers yogurts, salads, pastries and coffee and features locally-made food items. I recommend bringing home Tcho Chocolate for friends or Ghirardelli chocolate squares for the little ones.
There’s also B55 Craft House & Kitchen, with menu items made from locally sourced ingredients. You’ll find gastropub fare with 55 artisanal beers and a large selection of bourbons.
M Club Lounge
If you are a frequent business traveler you may have earned M Club Lounge status. Located on the 2nd floor of the hotel, the M Club Lounge is open daily from 6:30 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. The breakfast buffet is available from 6:30 – 9:30 a.m. and offers a wide selection of hot items, yogurt, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea and hot chocolate, in addition to fresh baked breads, pastries, hot and cold cereal.
Hors d’ouvres are out from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. followed by desserts from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. Additionally, wine and beer are available for purchase from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. An M Club Lounge pass may be purchased for $75 and is good for 2 people; however, you must purchase the pass before your hotel stay.
The hotel is committed to protecting the environment with a goal to become a zero waste hotel by 2020. Water bottles are not provided in hotel rooms. Instead, Marriott hotels has partnered with FloWater to offer water stations on the 2nd and 4th floor. Being from California myself, I’m used to packing my own water bottle and refilling at water stations. I think this is a fantastic, earth-friendly initiative and hope that more hotels hop on this bandwagon!
BonVoy members receive complimentary in-room standard internet, otherwise the cost is $14.95 per day. Lobby and public areas have complimentary wireless. All guests have access to complimentary newspapers and magazines via pressreader.com.
When you aren’t out walking the streets of San Francisco or shopping at nearby Union Square, you may visit the 8,000 square foot COR Health and Fitness Center which is open 24/7.
Insider tip: If you are planning to escape to Alcatraz, be sure to purchase your tickets online in advance.
Room rates depend on availability and season, but currently the prices range from $299 – $498 with hospitality suites ranging from $1,800-$2,700 per night. You can check rates and book online at Expedia or Hotels.com.
Article and photos by San Francisco Bay Area Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown who was hosted one night at San Francisco Marriott Marquis while attending a TED Talk.